The Surprising Friendship Between Helen Mirren And Russell Brand

For actors, each film comes with a new set of people to work with. In many instances, this is where a lot of unlikely friendships are born – and this was certainly the case for Helen Mirren and Russell Brand (via Distractify).

The pair initially met in 2009 during production of Julie Taymor's adaptation of "The Tempest" (via Stylist). But it was the 2011 remake of the classic film "Arthur" that truly cemented their friendship. Originally released in 1981, the comedy starred Dudley Moore as a spoiled billionaire who falls for a working-class Queens native played by Liza Minnelli (via Roger Ebert). Brand took on Moore's role, while Mirren takes over John Gielgud's part as Hobson. In this instance, the older actress plays Arthur's nanny Lillian who's been looking after Arthur since he was young (via The Hollywood Reporter).

The bond between Arthur and Lillian is incredibly close and believable, which is thanks to Brand and Mirren's chemistry off-screen. But exactly how close are the two British actors, and how regularly do they actually hang out with each other?

Russell dedicated an entire chapter to Helen in his autobiography

Well, if it weren't for Russell Brand, Helen Mirren wouldn't have starred in "Arthur" in the first place. "I did it because I met Russell," she told Collider, referring to their first encounter on "The Tempest". Explaining how they hadn't spent much time together during that production, Mirren said she was "seduced" by Brand to appear in "Arthur," "I defy male, female or age-appropriate child to spend two hours with Russell and not be completely charmed," she said, adding that essentially no one can say no to Brand.

For the actor, he fell as equally in love with Mirren. "We had a wonderful relationship, is the truth of it," he explained. "I'm a bit in love with Helen. I was very excited about the possibility of working with her." Their friendship has truly stood the test of time, with Brand even dedicating a chapter of his biography "Booky Wooky 2" to the actress (via Stylist).

Referring to Mirren as "Mummy Helen", the chapter also included the revelation that Brand gifted the Academy Award-winning actress a pair of his underwear (via People). "I'm going to frame them and hang them over my bed," Mirren told reporters at a press event in 2011.

On a serious note, though, Mirren truly values Brand as a close friend. "He's so cool. He's fabulous," she said. "We're really close friends. I wear the pin he gave me around my neck."